European football circuit is heavily dependent on the business they do in each transfer window. So, it is very important for the big clubs to be in the hand of a competent owner. Not only money but the management structure is very important in shaping a club’s future in modern football. Some of the clubs run their transfer business solely based on their revenues, and the others are backed by their rich owners. Sensible fans who care about the club are very much keen on maintaining transparency from the hierarchy of the club. And if any of the Premier League clubs have got owners who strike the perfect balance of business and personal touch with the fans, Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, owner of Leicester City.
A Brief History:
Aiyawatt took over the responsibility of the foxes in a tragic manner. When his father Vichai, chairman of both the Foxes, OH Leuven and travel retail group, King Power died in a tragic helicopter crash in 2018 at the King Power Stadium after a match against West Ham United. Apparently, Vichai watched his first football match in England was in the 1997 league cup final involving Leicester City and Middlesbrough which got him attracted to the foxes. And to complete his lifelong dream of owning a football team, he and his son Aiyawatt purchased the English Football League Championship club Leicester City. In the following season of the takeover, the club’s formerly named Walkers Stadium has renamed the King Power Stadium. With his son acting as the vice-chairman they started to shape the club in a proper way. And then came the 2015/16 season. The foxes went from strength to strength and did the unthinkable as they lift the Premier League trophy against all the odds. It is still considered to be the greatest ever story in the world of football. Vichai gifted 19 players a BMW i8—at £100,000 each—as a gift for winning the title.
The special bond with the fans:
In 2018, a tragic helicopter crash at the King Power Stadium after a match killed the owner, two of his colleagues, and the pilot. The incident created a shock around the country as his son Aiyawatt and the rest of the family were devastated. All the players and coaching staff came to pay their due respect as they laid bouquets of flowers all around the king power stadium. Each Leicester fan mourned in a devastated manner which clearly represents how much of a special bond they shared mutually. But the foxes picked themselves up from the grief, and under Brendan Rodgers, they started to dream of being in Europe more regularly. Rodgers engineered another brilliant semi-final win against Manchester United to lead them in the FA cup final. When lockdown opened, and fans were allowed once again in the stadium, they gifted them the FA Cup trophy by beating Chelsea in a 1-0 win.
“For Khun Top and his family and what they’ve given this club, I know this was a dream of Khun Vichai’s, so to be able to deliver that today is a good feeling.”
— Leicester City (@LCFC) May 15, 2021
It clearly suggests the relationship they have with their current owners. And it is perfect as per their progress in football-wise as well.
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